The time has arrived for me to stop dreaming and start getting serious about where I intend to eat on my trip.
I'll be leaving soon for a one-month jaunt through southern and central Italy. I have never been anywhere in Umbria before, and while it seems like I have perused every publication from Slow Food to Gambero Rosso (and have even gone back to old CH posts that I took part in!), I am finding it difficult to make decisions when I don't know the places at all and there is so much to choose from. (I have a list of favorites in the Rome and Palermo areas, and though I am not in need of too much help as far as they are concerned, I am definitely open to suggestions).
I could use some serious guidance on the Umbrian towns/cities of Panicale, Gubbio, Citta di Castello, Assisi, Spello, Spoleto, Orvieto, and, of course, Perugia.
We eat everything, appreciate good wine and local company. I'd be particularly interested in hearing about neighborhood trattorie and ecotouristic farms and vineyards.
I also have some specific questions:
Which are some truly great locales for sampling Norcia's famous sausage and beans? How about vineyards/wineries that offer tastings of Sagrantino? I've done plenty of research, but would like to hear from my trusted fellow CHers.
Has anyone eaten at the famous Redibis (at l'Orto degli Angeli), or Enoteca Onofri in Bevagna? I'd love some feedback on them.
I Sette Consoli in Orvieto? I also have heard a lot about La Bastiglia in Spello (awarded a Michelin star)- has anyone been? Taverna del Lupo in Gubbio?
Finally, Sicily: can anyone give me some pointers for the Siracusa/Ragusa area? We've had good luck just sort of exploring and eating wherever looked good (never been disappointed), but I'd like to have one or two definite places in mind this time, as I'll be spending more time there. Also, Sciacca- I've never been. I hear many wonderful things about the many local seafood places in this seaside city, but don't know much detail at all.
II'll be in Italy for about one month, through the first week of October. I'd really appreciate and enjoy hearing about any and all suggestions/comments/memories re: food and wine that you deem relevant, and will be checking CH periodically during my trip. Price is not much of an issue, as long as they take credit cards. If I need to show up with wads of cash, please let me know! Casual stops, pasticcerie, coffee bars, tavole calde, and enoteche all apply!
II'l be taking notes (and photos, hopefully) for my post-trip reports, so please keep the ideas coming!